Information about Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a state on the east coast of Africa. It is bordered on the north by Kenya and Uganda, on the west by Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and on the south by Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. The eastern border is the Indian Ocean.
Tanzania has two capitals: the administrative center is the historic capital Dar es Salaam, and the legislative center is Dodoma, where the government moved its main institutions in the 1970s.
Much of the country is occupied by vast plateaus. Along the coast of the Indian Ocean stretches coastal lowlands. The country’s territory includes some of the largest lakes in Africa – Lake Victoria in the north, Lake Tanganyika in the west and Lake Nyasa in the south. On the territory of Tanzania is the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m).
The climate in Tanzania is tropical, hot and humid on the coast and dry on the mainland. During the year, the temperature ranges from +20C to +32C. On the coast of Tanzania the temperature never drops below +25C.
The rainy season in Tanzania lasts from March to May, with short rains in October and November.
The best time to visit the northern part of Tanzania is July to October and December to March, the south from June to October, the west from December to March and May to October. Holidays on the islands of Zanzibar and Mafia are best planned for July-October, or December-March.
GMT+3 (In Belarus, the same time as in Tanzania).
International name: TZS.
The Tanzanian Shilling is equal to 100 cents. The currency in official circulation has banknotes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000 Tanzanian shillings and coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Tanzanian shillings. In fact, coins of less than 50 shillings are out of circulation.
Currency can be exchanged at banks and exchange offices. An exchange receipt should be kept before leaving the country. It is not forbidden to change money at street moneychangers, but there is a very high risk of fraud.
Credit cards are of limited use. Usually they are accepted only by major banks, supermarkets (especially in port areas) and some travel agencies. In the provinces, it is much more difficult to pay with a credit card. For the service of withdrawal of money from a credit card some provincial banks charge a commission of 6-8% of the amount.
Traveler’s checks can be cashed at registered dealers, banks, or exchange offices. You will need a passport to cash them. Often checks are very carefully checked for authenticity, which is time-consuming.
Cuisine of Tanzania
It may seem strange at first glance, but the traditional Tanzanian dishes are soups, steaks, fried chicken, boiled vegetables and puddings. At second glance, there is nothing surprising; the country is simply affected by the long-standing presence of European colonizers.
Asian restaurants have more interesting food, but they are not so numerous. However, there are also plenty of small African restaurants where you can try the indigenous local cuisine. Their menu is based on banana and goat dishes.
Local beer is cheap and tastes good, there is also imported beer from Kenya or South Africa, but it is more expensive. As for strong drinks you may try “cognacs”, local vodka made of papaya.
Public transport and cabs
Zanzibar can be reached from the mainland by sea. All the islands of the archipelago are connected by sea and ferries run between them. Ferries are fast catamarans or larger ships. This type of transport is very popular. Ferries run by the hour.
You can travel in Tanzania by bus. Buses can be small, like our minibuses and large, modern cars with air conditioning for long trips. You can travel around the city by cab. You should fix the price in advance and you can bargain.
Renting a car in Tanzania is simple, but can cause a lot of trouble afterwards. The roads in the country are in a terrible condition, the traffic is left-handed, and the traffic rules are absolutely not respected by both drivers and pedestrians.
If there is an urgent need to rent a car, it is better to rent it together with a driver, which will be both safe and convenient.
Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, is located in the east of the country, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It is the main seaport of the state, its railway station and a hub of highways, there is also an airport of international importance. Most tourists arriving here use the city as a transit point on their way to Zanzibar, on safari, or to obtain visas to neighboring states: Kenya, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Rwanda. The center of Dar es Salaam is built up with two-story houses of traditional Swahili architecture, and you can move around on foot – the distance and safety is adequate. The city has preserved many monuments of German colonization: the train station building, the Cathedral of St. Joseph and the Lutheran Church. There are also typical Asian streets: Indian Street with a lot of shops and bazaars, Kisutu Street, where there are Hindu temples. Also worthy of a visit is the fish market Magagoni, ebony market Mweninge, gallery of the art cooperative Tingatinga in the Bay Oyster (the nearest ocean beach to the city), spice market Kіrіakoo. Of interest are the National Museum of the city, as well as the Village Museum, 10 km from the center of Dar es Salaam. Among the attractions of the city are also the palace of Sultan Majid, the Clock Tower, the Askari Monument in honor of those killed in the fields of World War I, the Anglican Church of St. Alban, the Lutheran Cathedral and several mosques.
Zanzibar is an archipelago with the main island of the same name, located 35 km from the coast. The main advantages of this resort – a rich cultural heritage, carefully preserved coastline, the cleanest coastal waters and a variety of marine life. The best beaches are in the southeast of the island and the entertainment and nightlife are in the north. Zanzibar can be visited all year round, but the best time – from June to October: little rain, not hot (+27 … +29 ° C) and a cool breeze from the ocean. From October to November and April to May, Zanzibar continues the rainy season.
The capital of Zanzibar, founded by Arab traders back in the 9th century, Stone Town is one of the most impressive places on the coast. The town is a chaotic jumble of streets with many stores, bazaars, mosques, courtyards and fortresses. Near the city are the ruins of several palaces, the “slave cave” Mangapwani and the unique forest Hosani. On “Turtle Island” you can see the magnificent specimens of giant tortillas, which even the best zoos in the world, and the local forest is rich with exotic plants.
Mafia is the main island of the archipelago of the same name. It is hard to believe, but back in the 1820s, the history of this area was truly “wild”: the town of Kua, which is located on Juani Island, was attacked by Madagascar cannibals “Sakalava”. Today this is no longer found in Mafia, but the color and identity of the archipelago still do not take. In short, Mafia can be described as “Zanzibar 30 years ago. There are still few hotels, some beaches are simply deserted, and the tourist infrastructure is still evolving and developing. On the other hand, excellent diving, excellent fishing and relaxing beach vacation guaranteed to every wealthy tourist who has decided to spend your vacation here. The most popular beach on the island is located near the bay Chole, beloved by divers. Here are built five large hotel complexes, one lodge and several apartments.
The island is famous for the ancient ruins of Qua, where the mosques of the 14th century. Also very impressive are the ancient pools of coral rocks. On one of the islands of the archipelago, Chole, live amazing giant bats that eat fruit. You can also take an excursion to Jibondo Island, where local artisans make traditional dhow boats.
Pemba is located 50 km north of Zanzibar. The strait of the same name that separates the island from the continent, is considered the best place for deep-sea fishing: the catch here is the richest in East Africa. Much of the island is not suitable for beach holidays, but areas converted into equipped beaches, considered some of the best in the country. The most famous beach is Vumawimbi of white coral sand, stretching for 2 km.
At 10 km from Chaka Chaka are the ruins of the ancient fortification of Puginie, which dates back to the 15th century. There was excavated an underground tomb with bizarre wall ornaments. Cape Ras Mkumbu, where archaeologists found the remains of an ancient Swahili settlement of the 11th century, is also interesting. Nature lovers should never turn down an excursion to the Ngezi primeval forest with lush vegetation, giant trees and ferns, as well as a trip to the baobab forest Misheveni.
The Serengeti (“endless plains”) is renowned for its enormous diversity of fauna: some five hundred species of birds and three million large animals can be seen here. In the summer of 2009 the park celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. The Serengeti’s climate is dry and warm. The rainy season usually lasts from March to May, and there is also light rainfall from October to November. The best times to visit: December to July (gnu antelope watching), June to October (predator watching). The park’s plains (almost endless indeed), savannahs, rivers and lakes are inhabited by more than 35 species of animals: lions (more than 3000 animals, by the way), wildebeest, elephants, rhinos, leopards, buffalos, crocodiles, hyenas, jackals, baboons, big-eared foxes and many others live here. The reserve is considered one of the best places on the planet to observe the life of lions, cheetahs and giraffes. In addition, you can see the flamingos at Lake Natron, fly in a hot-air balloon, go to the ancient Masai rock art and amazing “musical rocks”.
What to Buy in Tanzania?
Popular souvenirs from Tanzania are ebony, malachite, soapstone and beads, as well as various masks, figurines, drums, and of course, coffee.
The country mines unique Tanzanian green tourmalines, sapphires, garnets, rubies, emeralds and diamonds, as well as the rare mineral blue diamond, which is found exclusively in these places, in the volcanic deposits of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Stores are open every day from 9:00 to 19:00. In the major tourist centers, most shopping malls are open until 10:00 p.m.
Tourists in Tanzania should not: move away from the main streets of cities, carry large sums of money and wear expensive gold jewelry.
At night, you should avoid deserted unfamiliar areas. When walking you should take a photocopy of your passport, and leave your passport, money and plane ticket in the hotel safe.
It is recommended that you vaccinate against yellow fever before your trip, and begin taking anti-malarial medication about a week before departure.
Water from the tap is not allowed to drink in the country: only from bottles, after checking that they are well sealed. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth and making ice must be boiled or otherwise sanitized.
Characteristics of the country and the nation
One of the most important rules of conduct for visitors is a ban on smoking in public places. Smoking is allowed only in hotel rooms and in some restaurants in a special area. On the street, in clubs, cinemas, beaches smoking is strictly prohibited, up to several hours of arrest.
The island of Zanzibar is known for its strictest conservation law, one of the points of this law is a ban on the use of plastic bags. All goods here are issued in paper bags.
Most hotels, even the most expensive rooms will have kerosene lamps – power outages are the main trouble of modern Tanzania.
Despite the sometimes even too polite treatment of foreigners the local population has an unspoken tradition to make fun of them. Do not ask the first person you meet, smiling sweetly, he will show you the wrong way. Experienced tourists recommend in such situations to introduce yourself as a journalist, English is well understood here, then the chance of deception decreases.
Tours and attractions
Dar es Salaam National Museum was opened in 1940 next to the city’s botanical garden in honor of King George V (the museum houses his car). Then, in 1963, a new wing was added to the museum.
Numerous fossils are on display in the halls, including a print of a human foot made 3.6 million years ago.
The History Gallery, which is one part of the museum, exhibits items on the development of Tanzanian statehood from the Kilwa period (6th century) to the country’s independence in the 20th. The National Museum also offers a tour of Tanzanian art and traditional everyday objects.
Kilimanjaro National Park was founded in 1973. The foot of the mountain is 1,829 meters above sea level, and Kibo Peak is 5,895 meters above sea level. At this altitude, Kilimanjaro is the highest African mountain and the highest peak in the world to walk on. The diameter of the base is as much as 60 kilometers.
In Swahili, Kilimanjaro means “glittering mountain” – and the name is entirely appropriate for a mountain covered in a snow-white cap.
The voluminous volcano, surrounded by plains and covered with snow, stretches over the savannah. The mountain is surrounded by a mountain forest. Countless mammals, many of them endangered, reside in the park.
Ruaha National Park was founded in 1964. Today it is one of the most popular and visited nature reserves in the country. In addition, Ruaha is the second largest national park in Tanzania.
It gets its name from the Great Ruaha River flowing through the mountain gorges on its eastern border. As it flows into the Rufiji River, it is home to hippos and crocodiles.
Ruaha Park is the best kept wildlife secret of all Tanzanian parks. The former inaccessibility was the reason why the park has hardly changed over the centuries, remaining untouched by man. With an area of 10,300 square kilometers, it is the largest refuge for elephants.
Tanzania (full Swahili name Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania , United Republic of Tanzania) is the largest country in East Africa and one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially for wildlife. Even the names themselves – Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater or the Serengeti National Park – make the heart of the adventurer beat faster.
In addition, in Tanzania, you can have a wonderful beach holiday and diving.
Location of Tanzania
Tanzania is located in East Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean. In the north, it borders on Kenya and Uganda; in the west, Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo (DRC, Congo-Zaire); in the south, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
A large part of the country is occupied by vast plateaus, although Tanzania is home to Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro (5892 m).
The territory of the country includes some of the largest lakes in Africa: Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa.
Climate of Tanzania
The climate on the continental part of Tanzania is subequatorial. The seasons differ not in temperature, but in the changes in scenery that follow the changes in precipitation. In the north, there are two wet seasons (March to May and September to November), in the south, there is only one rainy season (November to April).
The climate on the islands is humid, the average daily temperature is +28 … 30°C, and sea breezes make the weather very pleasant. The water temperature in the Indian Ocean is +24…26 ° C.
Tourist season in Tanzania is all year round, just different places are relevant at different times of the year. And, of course, tourists come for the seasonal migration of animals, when hundreds of thousands of gnu and zebras move to greener pastures.
History of Tanzania
Africa is the cradle of man. In Tanzania, the remains of what is known as ‘Skilful Man,’ a transitional species from australopithecines to humans, have been found in the Olduvai Gorge. They lived here 2 million years ago. What other country can boast such an ancient history?
Indigenous population of Tanzania is considered three main groups of people: 1) close to the Bushmen (the original aborigines), 2) who came from Ethiopia Kushits and 3) Bantu people, whose ancestry – a controversial issue.
Around the middle of the first millennium on the coast of present Tanzania appeared Persian and then Arab traders. It was then that a new ethnic community was formed – the Swahili (literally “coast-dwellers”). It consisted of local coastal tribes, newcomers from Persia, Arabia and India, and slaves from the interior of Africa.
From the beginning of the 16th century Europeans, especially the Portuguese, appeared in East Africa. They took over almost all the port cities, but in the second half of the 17th century they were repulsed by the Muslims. In the second half of the 17th century they were rebuffed by the Muslim population.
In 1885 the German Carl Peters landed on the coast of Tanzania and signed treaties with the leaders of the 12 tribes on the protectorate of Germany and in 1888 he leased from the Sultan of Zanzibar the entire coastal part of Tanzania for 50 years. In 1891 the imperial colony of German East Africa was announced .
Germany’s imperial ambitions faded after its defeat in World War I and Tanzania came under British guardianship.
Independence did not await Tanzania until after World War II. In 1961 Britain granted independence to Tanganyika and in 1963 to the Sultanate of Zanzibar. But immediately a rebellion broke out on Zanzibar, which turned into a coup and Zanzibar was merged with Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The new country soon became known as Tanzania (from Tan Ganyika + Zanzibar)
Features of Tanzania
Tanzania practically has 2 capitals. Some government offices are located in the official capital city of Dodoma , but the administrative center is the historic capital Dar es Salaam , the country’s largest city and main economic center.
Population of Tanzania
The population is approximately 50 million people. The ethnic composition varies greatly between the mainland and the islands.
On the mainland Tanzania is 99% black with 120 different ethnic groups, most of whom are Bantu.
Zanzibar is home to the Swahili ethnic community of Arabs, Bantu blacks, and Arab-Negro mestizos.
About half of the population are Christians (about equally divided between Catholics and Protestants), about one third are Muslims (in Zanzibar 97% are). A noticeable part holds local beliefs.
Many ethnic groups in Tanzania have many native languages not understood by their neighbors. Swahili is usually used as an interethnic language. Tanzania has 2 official languages: English and Swahili.
Currency of Tanzania
The national currency is the Tanzanian Shilling. Money can be exchanged at banks and exchange offices. It is best to keep the exchange receipt until you leave the country. You should not rely solely on credit cards, as major banks and supermarkets accept them, but in the provinces there may be problems with cards.
In 2015 our tourists visited Tanzania and shot a video, including with a quadcopter (which is not officially allowed in every national park, or requires separate approval)